Saturday 23 August 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Mamady Sidibe struck in stoppage time to give Stoke City their first win in the Barclays Premier League at the expense of Aston Villa.
Stoke, embarking on their first Barclays Premier League campaign after promotion the previous season, had lost their opening match at Bolton Wanderers. Things looked good when they twice took the lead against Villa, but Martin O'Neill's side pegged them back each time, until Sidibe wrapped up the points.
Rory Delap’s long throws caused problems for the visitors early on and the Republic of Ireland midfielder was involved in Stoke’s opening goal after half an hour when he was brought down in the penalty area by Martin Laursen and Liam Lawrence scored from the spot.
John Carew levelled after 63 minutes after an exchanged of passes with Ashley Young but Ricardo Fuller restored City’s lead with ten minutes to go when he collected a pass from Lawrence, flicked the ball around Laursen and finished from a tight angle.
Laursen cancelled out Fuller's strike two minutes later when he hit Villa's second equaliser after Young's free-kick had deflected into his path.
Stoke almost regained the lead when Leon Cort's header from another Delap long throw landed on top of the Villa net before Sidibe won it when the ball hit him, after Delap had hurled it into the area, and looped into the net.
"We’ll enjoy this but we know it will be difficult and we need the supporters to stick with us," Stoke manager Tony Pulis said.
O’Neill was disappointed with his side's inability to resist Delap's throws.
"The long throws are very dangerous and we had one last one to deal with but it ended up in our net," the Villa manager said. "In the last minute of a match, if you can’t win it then at least don’t lose it.”
Stoke finished their first Barclays Premier League season in 12th position. They have remained in the top flight since, securing six consecutive mid-table finishes.